Taylor Swift is giving us the context she says was missing from her 2016 phone call with Kanye West. Kim Kardashian posted it on her Snapchat as a "gotcha" when Swift claimed she never agreed to West using the line "I made that bitch famous" in the song "Famous." The singer says that's still true: she never agreed to being called a bitch. But the reason it spiraled into an industry-shattering feud was because of more than a phone call, or even the incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Swift told Rolling Stone in her cover for the magazine that her relationship with West had always been volatile.
"I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me — because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me," she said in the interview, going on to recount the 2015 VMAs when she presented him with the Vanguard Award.
"He called me up, maybe a week or so before the event, and we had maybe over an hourlong conversation, and he’s like, 'I really, really would like for you to present this Vanguard Award to me, this would mean so much to me,' and went into all the reasons why it means so much, because he can be so sweet," she said, later explaining, "And so I wrote this speech up, and then we get to the VMAs and I make this speech and he screams, 'MTV got Taylor Swift up here to present me this award for ratings!' And I’m standing in the audience with my arm around his wife, and this chill ran through my body. I realised he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk shit."
However, once again Swift says she decided to shake it off. Then the infamous 2016 phone call happened.
"So when he gets on the phone with me, and I was so touched that he would be respectful and, like, tell me about this one line in the song," she continued. "And I was like, 'OK, good. We’re back on good terms.' And then when I heard the song, I was like, 'I’m done with this. If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it.'"
Swift also said West did the same thing to Drake, when Pusha-T revealed the Canadian rapper had a child. (West has said he was not involved in that drama.)
"It’s the same thing," Swift said. "Getting close to you, earning your trust, detonating you."
She then asked to move on from the conversation because it still upsets her, and in a way, Lover similarly closes a chapter. There's no mention of their feud or West at all, and the album instead focuses on her relationship with Joe Alwyn. The old Taylor has come back to the phone, but West is certainly not on the other end of it.